Monthly Archives: October 2017

The Jewel of the Sangha

The Third Vajra-point pays homage to the Noble (Ārya) Bodhisattvas. There are two types of sangha—one bearing the features of ordinary beings the other bearing the auspicious mark of the Tathagatas—or self-realized beings. Ordinary beings, i.e., worldlings or the puthujjana … Continue reading

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The Jewel of the Dharma

We next turn to the Dharma as the Second Vajra-point. “From the Jewel of the Buddha comes the Jewel of the Doctrine.” This is presented with the same structure: a direct homage to the Blessed Teaching of the Tathagata by … Continue reading

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The Jewel of the Buddha

The Ratna next turns to a comprehensive overview of the Three Jewels. First up: The Buddha as the First Vajra-point. The segment on the Buddha begins with a direct homage to the Tathāgata by highlighting prominent aspects of Buddhahood. Then … Continue reading

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The Matrix of the Tathāgata

 danita clark The text of the Ratnagotravibhāga consists essentially of 430 Sanskrit verses with an accompanying prose commentary (vyākhyā) that incorporates extensive quotations from Tathāgata-garbha orientated sutras. The first chapter is indeed the longest and initiates the śāstra with an … Continue reading

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Gotra: The Transformative Principle

As mentioned in the introduction to this series, the Ratnagotravibhāga principally covers seven vajrapadas (adamantine topics); vajrapada is Sanskrit for “Vajra-Base”. The seven [Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma, and Saṃgha), the element (dhātu, which is equivalent to tathāgatagarbha), awakening (bodhi), the … Continue reading

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The Ratnagotravibhāgaśāstra

The Ratnagotravibhāgaśāstra (Uttaratantra) is the premier śāstra, combined with its [embedded] commentary (the vyākhyā), dealing with the Tathāgatagarbha. It is the earliest systematic portrayal of the Doctrine composed circa the end of the 5th century, and it draws upon a … Continue reading

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Isaac of Nineveh (c. 613 – c. 700)

Also known as Saint Isaac the Syrian, Isaac of Nineveh was a Middle-Eastern Christian monk and spiritual-writer who commanded the way of Eastern Orthodox Monasticism. The references to his life and work in this blog are largely from the magnificent … Continue reading

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Gnostikos—The Text

The full title of Evagrius’ Gnostikos is The Gnostic: To the One Made Worthy of Gnosis. In this context, a “Gnostikos” is a form of exegete and teacher who empowers others on the contemplative path to add as one of … Continue reading

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